By Graham Hardcastle
Captain Gary Ballance helped put Yorkshire in a commanding position at the halfway stage of their Specsavers County Championship match with Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.
Yorkshire’s second innings started with a lead of 68 immediately after lunch and reached close at 189 for four from 68 overs, a lead of 257.
Ballance was unbeaten on 76 off 150 balls and Jack Leaning 37.
Highlights from Day 2 below…
Notts had earlier been bowled out for 188 having started the day on 53-4, with Ben Coad claiming three wickets to finish with 4-49 from 13.2 overs.
Tim Bresnan also struck twice, with the White Rose’s slip catching superb.
Jack Brooks did not add to his three wickets late on day one.
Leaning pouched three catches at second slip and later contributed with the bat.
Adam Lyth took a stunning second slip catch to help Bresnan remove Luke Wood – one-handed diving to his right. An early contender for catch of the season, without doubt.
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor posted 57 as the visitors started the day steadily, reaching 100-4. But Coad and Bresnan equally shared four wickets to fall as they slipped to 130-8.
Just when Yorkshire looked set for a lead above 100, however, Notts hit back through some tail-end hitting from Jake Ball, who hit four successive boundaries off Jack Brooks on the way to 44 not out.
The innings ended with Luke Fletcher run out and Coad getting Harry Gurney caught at cover following a leading edge.
Help for the seamers remained evident, seemingly more through seam than swing today. It was the other way around yesterday.
And Yorkshire were put under early pressure in their second innings as they slipped to 37-3.
Alex Lees was lbw to Ball for a duck as he offered no shot to an in-ducker before Che Pujara was run out following a mix-up with Lyth, who was caught behind down leg pulling at Wood’s left-arm seamers.
After Lyth had blocked a ball from Gurney at his feet, Pujara hurtled down the track looking for the single, getting within touching distance of his partner only to turn around and be beaten by an under arm throw from Jake Libby back to the bowler.
But Ballance was about to calm any nerves.
After a first-innings duck, the skipper shared notable fourth and fifth wicket stands with Harry Brook and Leaning to take the wind out of Notts.
The left-handed skipper was rarely troubled by an attack which tired in the evening session, although he was hit on the wrist as he fended away a bouncer from Ball whilst on 48.
He shared 58 with Brook, the teenager who again looked in good order for 36 before he lost his middle stump to Ball. That left the score at 95-4 before tea.
Ballance then found another ally in Leaning, and they batted unbroken through the evening.
The England Ashes winter tourist posted his fifty off 90 balls with a cut boundary off Gurney, his seventh. By this time, the lead was beyond 200.
The unbroken partnership of 94 between Ballance and Leaning marked the highest of the match so far.
Notts pair Taylor and Riki Wessels shared 61 for the fifth wicket, a stand completed this morning.